Feb. 13, 2015 – Listen up, cider fans, Original Sin Hard Cider has just shipped a limited release of their latest hard cider made with Northern Spy apples. The cider will be available in selected markets in kegs. Northern Spy Dry Cider is the latest addition to their line of single varietal heirloom series featuring Heirloom Series Newtown Pippin and Heirloom Series Cherry Tree hard cider.
We spoke to Gidon Coll, the founder and CEO of Original Sin and his enthusiasm for saving America’s heirloom apples is contagious. The Northern Spy dates back to around 1800 originating on the farm of Herman Chapin in East Bloomfield, N.Y. near Rochester. There’s even a bronze plaque commemorating the location of the original tree. Gidon told us that in mid-19th century, there were over 15,000 named varieties of apples growing in this country. These days, only eleven different apples comprise about 90 percent of apples in supermarkets. We’ve swapped flavor and texture for even shape, good looks and longevity. What a pity.
Described as “the best apple ever grown in the United States” by apple expert Fred Lape, Northern Spy’s popularity was confined to the local region until about 1840, when it began to attract greater attention. In 1852, the American Pomological Society listed the Northern Spy as a variety of promise and worthy of general cultivation. By the early 1900s, the Northern Spy was considered the third most popular apple grown in the United States.
Gidon Coll has been making cider for 17 years. He experiments with the heirloom varieties he grows on his family’s old dairy farm in upstate New York and he strives to make his cider in the style of the early settlers – dry, not cloyingly sweet like many modern ciders. He has planted an orchard where he grows cider, modern day and heirloom apples and is dedicated to increasing the diversification of apple varieties in the United States.
His medal winning dry ciders have received accolades from many quarters including Food & Wine, The New York Times, Business Week, and The Tasting Table. His is possibly the only American cider exported to the U.K. and Japan. In fact, Original Sin Northern Spy Dry Cider has already shipped to Japan and Hong Kong. Better get yours fast! For a list of market availability check out Original Sin’s Limited Release Dry Cider Under our Hot New Products button.